Message from the Director

Message from the Director

an image of a coffe cup, pen, and letter

Summer 2021

 

Dear Friends of the Caloyeras Center,

It would be an understatement to say that the past year has been a real challenge to all of us as so many in our community have been impacted heavily by the pandemic. Yet, we are hopeful that our return to campus—and normalcy— will happen safely in the fall.

Despite the trials of the past months, the Center had a very productive year. We were fortunate to see a great number of new students and community members from across the US and beyond enroll in our classes. Thanks to online instruction, we welcomed new students from as far as Colorado, Michigan, Massachusetts, and even the UK, Germany, and Greece.

This past academic year, we offered 13  online courses on language and culture, literature, contemporary history and politics, and the Greek Orthodox tradition. We also introduced a new course on Greece, refugees, and the formation of Modern Europe that marked our first collaboration with the LMU International Relations and Peace and Justice programs. All courses were open to the community through the Extension program. 

Due to many students’ requests, our fall classes will be hybrid with our language and culture courses remaining online. The rest of our academic courses will return to campus with access options for those who cannot physically come to the classroom. You can see our fall hybrid schedule here.

Our online events also attracted the community’s strong interest and participation. A panel discussion on the recent conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque and Pr. Alexander Kitroeff’s presentation of his book on the history of the Greek-Orthodox Church in America kicked off our event series in the fall.

In response to the emergency approval of COVID vaccines in early January, the Center invited    Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, Dean of the USC School of Pharmacy & John Stauffer Dean's Chair in Pharmaceutical Sciences and Dr. Richard H. Dang, Assistant Professor of Clinical Pharmacy & Residency Program Director at USC, and Chair of the California Pharmacists Association COVID-19 Taskforce to lead an information session about the vaccines’ efficacy and safety.

The beginning of 2021 marked the bicentenary of the 1821 Greek revolution and the formation of the Modern Greek state. In collaboration with other community organizations, the Caloyeras Center celebrated this important anniversary with a series of online events that commemorated this journey of 200 years, as well as the people who have made their mark along the way, both in Greece and in the diaspora.

Our first event was dedicated to the forgotten heroes of the Balkan Wars, the Greek-Americans and philhellenes who fought in 1912-1913 with a presentation by Peter G. Giakoumis, author and military historian and researcher, who talked about the Greek-American regiment of soldiers volunteering from all over the US.

 In March, the Caloyeras Center was honored to host as our keynote speaker Professor Roderick Beaton, Emeritus Koraes Professor of Modern Greek & Byzantine History, Language & Literature at King’s College, UK, a Fellow of the British Academy, and Commander of the Order of Honor of the Hellenic Republic. Professor Beaton talked about the Greek revolution of 1821 and its place in world history.

 We were equally honored to welcome to LMU her Excellency the Ambassador of the Hellenic Republic to the US, Alexandra Papadopoulou, who offered opening remarks to Professor Beaton's lecture.

 The annual Zoe Caloyera Distinguished Lecture was also dedicated to the commemoration of the bicentenary. A recognition award was presented to Ms. Gianna Angelopoulos-Daskalaki, ambassador-at-large of the Hellenic State and the president of the GREECE 2021 committee charged by the Greek government to organize the bicentennial celebrations. The award honored her life-long contributions to public life, education, and philanthropy; as well as her tireless promotion of Hellenic values and ideals, in Greece and abroad. 

 For more information about our events, please visit our Event Highlights page.

The focus on Greece’s 200-year evolution aligns with the Center’s renewed reflection of its goals for the future. With a 45-year long history of promoting Greek language and culture, history, and Orthodox religion, the Caloyeras Center has been instrumental in preserving the core of Hellenism for our students and community in Southern California. But looking ahead, our hope is to expand the work of the Center beyond just the preservation of the past and into a deeper engagement with what Greece is today as well as with what it aspires to become in the future.

While we will continue honoring our past heritage with our long-established courses offered annually, we aim to expand our curriculum beyond the humanities in order to study Greece through the interdisciplinary lens of contemporary politics and international relations, peace and justice issues, urban and environmental sustainability studies, public health, entrepreneurship, and innovation and technology; all areas where Greece can be a major actor and leader into the 21st c. 

In that direction, the Center will also partner with the American Hellenic Council for a series of talks, panel discussions, and presentations on contemporary issues and topics of interest to our community.

The work of the Caloyeras Center over the years has been possible only because of your support. We hope you will share our vision and excitement for the future and you will consider including the Center in your philanthropic plans with a tax-exempt gift. At any level, your support is critical as the Center’s academic program, events, and activities are 100% supported by your annual contributions. Your support benefits our students and community directly. Consider making a gift today.

Visit our website at bellarmine.lmu.edu/moderngreek to find out more about our academic program, students, events, and our Endowment Campaign. I am happy to discuss the Center’s plans in more detail, should you have any questions.

I am looking forward to welcoming you back to our campus in the fall!

With deep gratitude for your support and best wishes for the summer.

 

Warm regards, 

 

Christina Bogdanou, Ph.D.

Director